Mommy Triggers on Mother’s Day
This weekend, I’m struck by my mommy guilt once again. Screaming at my toddler is the worst situation. Yet, I’ve been triggered many times this weekend.
The thing is:
- I pride myself on being a good mom who uses positive discipline methods with my child.
- I pride myself on being patient, loving and kind to him even when I’m completely emotional depleted.
But, lately, I find myself triggered by his behaviors.
Each time, when I’m at my wit’s end, I scream at him. It kills me. He’s such an empathetic child. He will literally walk over to me and give me a hug after I screamed at him.
I taught him well by modeling empathy. I don’t want to undo all my efforts.
It all started when he became extremely rigid with his activities. I had him evaluated by early intervention to make sure he wasn’t on the autism spectrum. Then, I worked with him diligently to snap him out of any and all activities that seem to occur in a loop.
This took 2 years.
There were days when I literally felt like I should just let him pursue his obsessions. But, I know better. The better part of me always goes with my mother’s instinct.
My instinct tells me that he needs me to help him move on.
This weekend, the obsessive beast came back. It came back with a vengeance.
- Mommy has to hold me in a very specific particular way.
- Mommy has to sit exactly on the spot I tell her to sit.
- Mommy cannot move while I’m playing.
- When we play, I have to tell mommy exactly where to put her block.
- When mommy eats, I have to tell mommy exactly what to eat, how and when.
- When mommy asks me any question, I say “no” every time.
You get the picture. I know I’m just dealing with a three years old. But, come on, life has to be easier. Motherhood is usually enjoyable.
Even in tough times, I enjoyed motherhood for the most part so far.
Coupled with “hyperactivity” most afternoons, my anxiety is at levels I haven’t experienced in a long time. Yesterday, I felt emotionally broken as I watched my toddler run circles around my living room.
I felt like I was living with a hamster on a wheel.
Later last night, after I finally got up the nerve to scream at him to stop him from jumping off every single piece of furniture that was safe to jump off of, I held him for a long time.
Sometimes, as mothers, it feels like we can’t be ourselves. We have to be in control with our children. We can’t be seen as emotional creatures.
We have to hold it all together all the time. It’s exhausting.
I’ve yet to cry in front of my child. But, if I do, I don’t see any harm in it. Mothers are human beings too. There’s a limit to our patience that parenthood seems to test everyday.
Last night, I held my son and told him why mom was upset. I explained to him why his behaviors bothered me so much. I didn’t care that he probably didn’t understand half of the things I said. I didn’t care that he’s not emotionally mature enough to process any of the emotions of this moment.
I just let it out and explained my feelings to him.
That is all a mother can do. Mothers can’t be perfect. Mothers can’t be super. Mother can’t be loving all the time. But, mothers can be real. Mothers can be honest. Mothers can communicate.
Mothers can be human beings.
On this mother’s day, I will try my best to hold it together. If I’m not successful, then so be it. I will just hold my child and let him know that his mother’s not perfect. His mother’s human. He will understand that, at the very least, I tried my best.
About the Author
Jun Wu is Content Writer for Technology, AI, Data Science, Psychology, and Parenting. She has a background in programming and statistics. On her spare time, she writes poetry and blogs on her parenting website: wellplayedchild.com